woman in leather jacket
An example of leather worn really well
I will share an embarrassing fashion story with you all. Many a moon ago I had a pair of raspberry-colored leather pants. (Try not to laugh too hard.) They weren't fitted (mistake number two) -- they were loose and I bought them at this not-very-chic store near my old job in Midtown Manhattan. I really should have known better. One of my co-workers called them Fruit Roll-Up pants because that's what they looked like. And they really did. I'm not sure why I thought they were cool. Maybe I was experimenting with fashion. Bad fashion. So I have a thing with leather -- whether it's fake leather, pleather if you will, or real leather. The look of it -- I love it. I also hate it.

And I think it can age a woman many, many years if worn in certain ways.

Case in point: When Savannah Guthrie, one of the adorable hosts of the Today show, wore a fitted black leather skirt the other day, I wished it was in another fabric instead. Maybe a nice wool plaid? She's beautiful, yes, but the leather ... something about it hardened her look, made like five new wrinkles appear when she probably really doesn't have any. Even though she had on a feminine blouse, and had perfect hair and legs (she is 5'10"), it just didn't look good.

Maybe it's because she was on daytime TV with super-bright daytime TV lighting. If I saw her out after dark with that skirt on in a dimly lit restaurant, I may not be thinking the same thing. Not sure though.

The leather look, specifically when it's a pair of pants or a skirt, I think it can add about 10 years to you. Sure some of you look amazing in it, but it's a hard look to really pull off. So if you can do it, you are lucky. I saw another newscaster (name forgotten) who was wearing a leather blazer during her newscast and I filed that one away in the "never wear" drawer. But again, it all depends. Leather purses and boots are usually always fine, but a leather piece of clothing ... challenging. As challenging as my Fruit Roll-Up pants that I will never, ever wear again.

I don't like to make blanket statements about fashion because there will always be people who can make any look work, but generally speaking, if you are over 30 and want to wear a leather piece of clothing, think long and hard about it first ... and maybe ask a friend to let you know if it looks good or not.

Do wear wear leather clothes? How do you pull it off?

 

Image via david_shankbone/Flickr